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Posts Tagged ‘New Politics’

A New Party for All

May 16, 2021 9 comments

This is going to seem like one of the most counter intuitive things to talk about right now given the results of last weeks Local Elections and the By Election in Hartlepool.

But the UK is heading for a defining moment and we need a new approach to running government that can only be provided by a new political movement or party. One that will be A New Party for All.

No, it isn’t an easy thing to do.  New political parties are not easy to create.

The graveyard of politics is filled to overflowing with the efforts of individuals and groups who set off with the optimistic aim of establishing new political parties that would change everything without changing a single thing.

The common ground between them was that they were motivated by ideas or very focused versions of those ideas that we all have all experienced, seen and heard before.

Why don’t new parties work quickly – as good ideas should?

The biggest elephant in the political room is the idea held by many a new entrant to politics upon which they believe they can do something or the same things better, simply because they have been done very badly by others before.

The truth is that people or voters will only be inspired and encouraged to buy into ‘change’ by a movement or new way of doing things that not only provides an alternative to what they already have available to them. It must represent a credible way of doing things that has never knowingly or consciously been done before.

So why A New Party for All right now? Hasn’t it already just been done?

Unless you are already a Conservative politician who believes that your shit really does smell sweeter than anybody else’s, the electoral success of the Tory Party is surface deep, unexplainable and transitory at best.

Deep down, you know that something with British Politics is fundamentally wrong.

Under Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party has become successful by morphing itself into any mould or shape which is representative of current media and populist calls. Shapeshifting has become synonymous with the term ‘to lead’.

The Conservatives have quite literally stolen the ground from under the feet of Brexiteers and left-wing progressives by becoming caricatures of everything that is Brexit and everything that is socialism, whilst glossing over the uncomfortable truths and the bits they don’t like.

Meanwhile they have no grounding in true representation and have retained their power by developing a framework of policies which are hollow and have no substance contained within them.

People are voting Conservative because there is no alternative

Whilst it may be considered a cliche, the idea that we have more in common with each other than what we have that divides us is very true.

Building upon what we all have in common should form the basis of how we do politics in the UK, allowing us to move on from the tribal alliances and prejudices of the past that are still doing so much damage today.

The problem is that like many terms that have entered common parlance, this principle has been stolen and remoulded for selfish purposes by the woke and politically correct. It has become their way of saying self-righteously to others, ‘what I believe is right and what we have in common; what you believe is the difference and is what drives us apart’.

I’m sure you will agree that this is a very strange and dangerous way for anyone or anything to work – and particularly so in politics, where consideration of what is good and right for everyone should be the basis of any policy or cause.

Reality always bites when we believe the world should behave and think the same as we do

What we have seen in recent months in the lead up to the Local Elections, is the establishment of a range of new movements and political parties, all sold to us as being something different with the ability to work and make a difference, simply because they are a different choice, when in reality they are not.

For example, there’s the Reclaim Party, established by actor Laurence Fox, overtly created to deal with issues like the assault on freedom of speech. The arrival of Reclaim may have been well intentioned. but Laurence’s approach to politics is based on ideas, thoughts and philosophies that are his own. All he has really sought to do is receive the endorsement of others, rather than establishing a vehicle that might have reached out to engage and evolve the views of many others – rather than those of just one.

There is nothing universal in Laurence Fox’s approach or within his policies that can be applied to or interpreted as being inclusive and being there to represent and champion policy for the benefit of all. But Laurence is not alone. He has done nothing wrong and many others have failed by doing exactly the same.

Likewise, the rebranding of the Brexit party to become Reform UK has given witness to a serious failure to launch. Richard Tice focused on selling Reform as something completely different to The Brexit Party, when the reality is that this simply rebranded one-aim vehicle has already been successful at all that it set out to achieve.

It may not have been the Brexit party that existed when the anti-EU movement began. But it was through three decades and the various evolutions that were the Anti-Federalist League, UKIP and then the Brexit Party, that the anti-European Union movement delivered upon the very purpose for which it was established. It then instantaneously lost its value as a collective, as it had been assembled to fight for nothing more than a very specific, mutually aligned cause.

People want change. They are not stupid. They can see, understand or recognise at a visceral level when something old has been rewrapped and presented to them as change.

Making a choice today, so that we can experience something better tomorrow for all

Many people now feel and understand that there is a need for significant political change. But the technical understanding of how the British political system works only comes from objective experience or very careful observation.

This means that many of the people vocally looking for change today and believe that the ideas they have are unquestionably right or justified – such as the arguments against lockdowns – should make immediate sense to everybody else in the same way that it does to themselves.

Accompanying this genuine misunderstanding is the belief that change should be easy if not already be well in hand, given how justified they believe their cause to be.

The reality that nothing has or is seen to be changing leads to great frustration, or what looks very much to others like madness on the part of those making demands through social media and the platforms they have, upon a system that doesn’t behave in anything like the way that it should.

This is not the way that British politics works

For there to be an alternative to the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and other political parties that are currently represented in the Westminster Parliament or are trying to get there, it is up to the British people to create and be the alternative themselves.

Being the alternative at the next General Election is the only way that this self-serving, out-of-touch and unrepresentative political culture will be replaced with one that is truly representative of all people and genuine public need. One that is ready to get to work once the Election has been won.

We may be only two years or less away from the next General Election. Rumours are circulating that the Government decision to begin working towards the removal of the Fixed Term Parliament Act will now lead to a General Election in May 2023, whilst the Conservatives are ‘riding high’.

Anyone seeking or believing in the value or real change should take this possibility very seriously right now. As without the creation of an alternative that people can vote for, things will always seem to appear different, but will stay exactly the same as they already are.

The stepping off point. Where we are today

The problem we face, is many of the people who have public profiles and with it the platform to give us a real voice against the form of Government we have and the actions that these politicians are taking are also the least prepared for what we need to do next.

They are not open to the ideas and ways of thinking available that would form the basis of the alternative way of doing government that this Country now needs, and the process that will get us there, from the point at which we stand right now.

Rebranding or repackaging the kind of politics that we already have simply will not work. Neither will expecting the current crop of politicians to adopt a different way of working that runs contrary to everything they believe and risks them losing seats across the Country. All when they genuinely believe these ‘democratic’ seats are theirs and theirs alone to own.

Opening the door

Instead of standing on the soap box of social media and grandstanding with speeches about how only their own ideas are suitable to answer to the problems that all of us have, the new political class that we need leading us must focus on being the means that will not only allow but facilitate the germination of grassroots ideas and policies generated from our communities up.

They will fully consider the needs and desires of all to genuinely and reliably inform the changes in public policy that this Country needs and then create the policies that will lead and inspire us all to achieve and experience it first-hand.

Policies MUST reflect the different attitudes, approaches and perceptions of people of all backgrounds and all ages, yet be driven by an openly communicated and therefore shared understanding that how things should be can never be delivered without accepting, working with and always using the foundation of how things really are.

This is no mean feat. But it does represent a process and direction of travel and embraces a future that is based on always doing the right thing.

That itself will fuel the creation and evolution of a movement for change which has the power to grow exponentially and within this very tight time window – once it has successfully begun.

The part you can play: Are you ready to be the change?

The funny thing is that many will read this blog. They will relate to the content and even agree. But the general response will be ‘This is for someone else to do – not me’.

The thing is, it isn’t. Changing politics for the better and getting people elected who not only can but will take the decisions that will work for everyone and not just benefit the same old few isn’t something that we can outsource by default and place in other people’s hands. It is because we have been doing this for so long already that politicians and the political parties they represent today are the way that they are.

Please don’t fall into the perpetual trap of judging what we can do with our future by looking at how things are done now or rather how they have been done in the past.

The situation in the UK might look ok today at first glance. But there are countless problems being stored up for us all, from the consequences of the lack of foresight that led to lockdowns, how the support for those unable to work or run their businesses during lockdowns was not applied equitably and the gargantuan debt spiral the government has created, to the problems with the way money and the economy works, housing and how policy is driven by idealism rather than any practical relationship with the experience of others.

Your voice matters. It may not feel like your voice matters, but it always has

The impact and consequences of Covid, the way the World and International community has handled it and the need for a very practical approach to green issues and the environmental problem are going to make the future success of the UK dependent upon us focusing on localism and our communities to be the change in just about every day-to-day way.

We can no longer afford to have government run by glory seekers.

Government and the political system that is the means to provide it must be led and managed by people who know and are prepared to do what it takes to get everything done.

The political journey to government solutions at all levels must engage and involve everyone – if they so choose – in some way.

Let’s begin the conversation

This is not the first time that I have written and published about the need for change and the realities that surround the creation and development of a new political party. It is however the first time that I have done so with the concern that led to it feeling tangible in a way that it hasn’t before, simply because events both in the UK and across the World suggest that the rich mixture and chain of poor decision after poor decision made by our politicians will soon create a situation with a narrative that they can no longer use manipulation and dark arts like behavioural economics to control.

I am writing this as a former Conservative politician and local authority officer who has experienced the way that government and politics works from both sides of the fence.

I do not pretend to have all the policies or answers to the real problems that we face. But I do understand how politics and the nature of the people within it work. I have written a book called How to get Elected which is FREE to read as a blog or alternatively can be purchased for £1.99 as a Kindle download.

Anyone can start a new political party, and many have tried. Nobody has yet been motivated to genuinely try creating and establishing A New Party for All.

Who does this or who succeeds at establishing A New Party for All is not the important thing.

The important thing is that it happens and that it develops in the inclusive way that it should do so, right from the start.

It is vital that we have a credible alternative to the political parties that we have already got when the next General Election comes.

This post is available on my Blog, on its own Twitter Account @ANewPartyForAll and on its own Facebook Page @ANewPartyForAll.

If you are motivated to be the change and accept that this can only be successful if we work together and respect and value the input of all others, why not ask any questions that you might have. Feel free to comment too. But please understand that any input that reflects anger with others or intolerance of any kind will be viewed appropriately – i.e., it simply doesn’t count!

Best wishes to you all, whoever you are and whatever your former cause.

Brexit is the doorway to change

June 23, 2019 2 comments

BF1

Brexit is the only way that the UK can access all the opportunities that are now open to it. Not only for our economy, but for us to ensure that each and every one of us has real equality of opportunity in life, in education and in the workplace, so that together, we, our communities and the whole Country is then enabled to realise everything that it has the capability to become.

As people, as individuals, as who we alone really are, we like to have the freedom to make choices when it comes to the decisions that will affect what we can do, what we have, where we go, who we are friends with, who we have relationships with, what we believe – to choose who we actually are.
The UK as a Country and Nation is no different.
Those choices and decisions are just scaled up and instead being about each and every one of us as People, are instead about us and our identity as a whole Country.
Its about who as a Nation, its community and businesses together, that we really are.
Just as we cannot make choices as children, when we are subjected to a controlling relationship of any kind, or placed in any situation where we do not have the freedom to respond to the world around us freely as the people that we actually are, the UK has been and is currently in this very kind of relationship with the EU. Its holding us back and we don’t know who we really are.
By Leaving the EU properly – which is what a democratic majority of as has already chosen to do, we can take back the choices which make us free, and will allow us together as a Nation, to regain our confidence and make the right decisions that will reflect our communities, our people, our geography, our culture, our economics, our relationship with the whole world and besides all of that, a whole lot more.
Whilst we will always have things in common with every Country in the World, the reality is we are in the majority of ways simply not the same.
To get the best out of everything and be an influence for the better we must respect the limitations of a corrosive relationship where values are being set for us under the premise that we can only get the best available if everything is the same.
Our strength lies in our diversity. That the UK is different to every other Nation on the Earth. Just as the internal strength within will get stronger as we respect and make the best of the differences that we have between all of us as people, thriving together, but independently within our different lives and roles.
We can only be the Country and Nation that we are supposed to be if we have the freedom to choose what we do.
Released from the shackles of rules that are undemocratically imposed, our lives will begin to improve immediately as a balance comes back in decision making that makes sense to us and the localities involved.
This isn’t idealistic thinking. Idealism is the premise that everybody can be conditioned to be the same when we clearly are not.
We have something much better lying ahead for all of us and Brexit is the Doorway to Change.

Catastrophic indecision lies at the heart of this Government and the Conservative Party. Yet most of those responsible are on the list to replace Mrs May

May 23, 2019 2 comments

MAYTime is now up for Trident Tongued Theresa.

Yet even now, she and her coterie of friends who will be leaving Downing Street beside her, are attempting to steal victory from the large intestine of defeat and suggesting they are about to rewrite this travesty of a Withdrawal Agreement which is and only ever has been about what a Prime Ministerial legacy looks like to Theresa May.

The credibility of our system of Government could and indeed should have been saved weeks if not months ago.

There have been enough opportunities to actually lose count.

Yet it is the same Politicians in the Cabinet and in key Positions within the Government who are too fearful today of the consequences of doing the ‘wrong thing’, who have always enabled this treacherous travesty which is not only about to unseat the Prime Minister, but is about to send the whole of the Conservative Party exactly the same way.

What our supposedly responsible Politicians should have reallised long ago about the current key holder at No.10, is that the dictatorial retreat into the bunker that is underway at the moment is simply an illustration of the character which has underpinned this travesty of a Premiership from the start and all the way along.

May’s propensity for lying robustly was outed well before she even called the 2017 General Election. At the very moment she wouldn’t come clean over the Trident issue, when questioned in an interview by the BBC’s Andrew Marr.

That none of those so closely around her saw or understood the writing that was then on the wall, raises questions about the rot that is present at the heart of both the Conservative Party and the Government.

But it also explains a whole lot more. Because it tells us how this whole sorry episode has been facilitated and allowed to continue. Be under the illusion no longer. May’s pedigree chums who remain in the Cabinet have an outlook that is fundamentally the same.

With the rules and etiquette underpinning business as usual in Politics having disappeared into the ether, just as soon as the Conservative Party endorsed this wretched Premiership in December, there really are no obligations to the Old Politics remaining upon any of our Westminster incumbents if they should finally grow a pair and do whatever it will take to immediately remove Theresa May from No.10.

In fact, it might be received much more positively than they could ever now appreciate. As anything that heralds the end of that Old Politics and the ushering in of the new, is likely to be received very warmly by the Public, who today might only temporarily directing their Votes another way.

Replacing May with another Prime Minister in her image is unacceptable.

If would-be Conservative Leaders should tie themselves to the mast of the Old Politics in the form of One Nation Conservatism or any form of everything that is now wrong with our Political system, simply presented in a different form, the Conservative Party will simply be over. And with it all of the sorry attempts by self-serving MPs to keep a secure hold of ‘their’ Seats, without even the slightest idea of the impact and consequences of what they have been doing.

What we are seeing today in the political crisis that is unfolding which is going to have an unnecessary but nonetheless significant cost.

Today’s Tory Leaders simply have no credibility.

To win again the Party must embrace change in everything. Immediately and above all ruthlessly. Or the post-bunker chapter will be the only legacy that they will share with Theresa May.

If Conservative MPs at any level have any sense they will have her physically out of No.10 by the weekend and then take a leaf out of the Vatican’s book. Put aside all the petty squabbling and self-serving rivalries, lock all of their MPs into the same room. And don’t emerge until they have a reasoned majority for a new Leader who can go straight to Buckingham Palace to be appointed Prime Minister, as the white smoke drifts across Westminster and media’s way.

Many of us question why these apparently talented and otherwise responsible people cannot see just how serious things have now become.

The reality is that they must now within days change completely, embrace new thinking, a new politics and then the real and true instruction of the Brexit Vote via a General Election in the Autumn.

They must begin today by hitting the ejector switch for Mrs May.

One Nation Conservatism and the Old Politics are the same thing. It’s a horse that won’t run now the Brexit stone has been lifted and Voters are looking for something that works and is actually new

May 20, 2019 1 comment

After Brexit

Just at the very moment you think the Parliamentary Conservatives can do the Party no more harm, One Nation Conservatism gets rolled out again and instead of embracing new and original thinking, the few voices of hope instead show their true colours and make clear that after Brexit, they simply intend to start singing the same old sorry song.

If the seeming inability of the ERG and Brexit-supporting MPs to remove May clinically and decisively in time to save both their Party and possibly the British Political system itself were not bad enough – being made so brutally clear by the upsurge in support for the Brexit Party, even the merest hint that the truth underpinning the Conservative Party today is a view that nothing other than our relationship with the EU has changed, tells us all that their MPs are failing to realise that they are still embracing the Old Politics and are destined to fail.

Change in politics is no longer a choice.

If the Conservatives continue to cling to the wreckage of the Old Politics by choice, simply by rebranding it whilst carrying on as normal with the belief that paying lip service is all that it will take to convince an Electorate already weary of lies, that words are all it takes to change politics and no more, the Party will not be seen as in any way credible.

The Brexit Party will clean up. Not because it is offering something meaningful for the long term – it clearly is not. But because it is successfully talking up what People actually want and is therefore inspiring people from all political angles and persuasions, even though it will be hard pressed even to deliver Brexit, let alone anything more.

If the drop in polling numbers is not sending the right message for the Conservative MPs  in this lame Parliament today, that ‘this is the way that things have always been done’ is no longer acceptable; that they now must think differently and use Brexit as the baseline opportunity as a means for a better future, rather than a flash in the pan and nothing more, the People are going to judge them all as finished and look for solutions elsewhere. The Conservative Party will simply be no more.

The point of no return is now arriving.

May should have already been long gone.

The result of the European Elections this week will make clear for everyone very loudly what no change within any of the incumbent Westminster Parties has in store.

This is the last chance saloon for a future based on the existing model of British Politics.

But if the ideas, approach and policies don’t change, politics and therefore our democracy are quickly going to look very different.

The ease of electoral participation that we have all been taking for granted will evaporate.

It will be replaced by the darkness that is created by populism when it has gone too far to be headed off.

All because at the time that it could have been, when those that have the power right now to work proactively to do so simply refuse to accept that the world around them has changed and they have to put doing what’s right first, instead of reverting to type and pretending that all our problems are about just one issue and that they have otherwise been right all along.

Wake up guys. Because the age of the free ride and gravy train of party politics in the UK simply exists no more.

No Tories, you can’t all be the next Prime Minister. Lose the selfish ambition and unite behind a Brexiteer who can win a General Election within 6 months instead

Dream

So the Tory beauty pageant is already underway and the starting pistol hasn’t even been fired – yet.

They have already attracted ridicule by openly declaring their ambition to become the next Prime Minister and even introduced wives to the media in anticipation that the Tories are finally set to decapitate the premiership of Theresa May.

In coming into the open as they have, these self-proclaimed leadership candidates demonstrate a clear detachment from the reality of the mess the Tory Party has already caused. A mess that is the result of politicians exhibiting the very same self-serving behaviour as they are. Apparently plain for everyone to see but they themselves.

At a time when MPs have never been needed to be more in touch with the Public mood and the implications of what is happening in government and the Country as a whole as part of a growing and already epic political storm, this evolving list of suicidedly ambitious MPs are exhibiting themselves, their true motives and their real priorities as elected representatives for all that they are and what they intend them to be.

The People will no longer be fooled. Even the mere hint that so many MPs plan to make their intentions known will be understood as self-servingly opportunistic, rather than being about doing what’s genuinely best in the circumstances for the Country and for the futures of everyone.

There is no illusion amongst those outside of Westminster. This is nothing to do with doing everything necessary to get the Brexit crisis resolved and democracy fully and unequivocally restored.

The approach now shared by so many ‘senior’ Conservatives is stretching the realms of what is now acceptable, irrespective of whether it is a genuine bid to lead, or just secure another term in a plum job.

This circus in no way represents the public interest. It only represents the interests of the politicians involved.

The support that the Brexit Party has already secured and continues to generate shows us all very clearly that Voters want to look forward, not backwards.

That means an increasingly dim view will be taken by the Public of actions reflective of the ‘Old Politics’.

There is now an open desire for ALL politicians to embrace the change that is required as politics moves from the old to the new, and that above all, any would-be Prime Minister MUST accept that this change is now irreversibly involved.

The list now in circulation of those declaring their candidacy includes a number of very talented individuals. But leading the Country out of what is becoming a significant crisis is far from being about talent alone.

In the long term, leading this Country will require a mix of skills, experience, wherewithal, approach and vision that may not come from any candidate, current MP or even a figure who is already publicly known.

This means that by default, the best thing that all of these MPs could do to help resolve and reduce the gravity of this escalating situation, is to be realistic. They must put their personal ambitions aside, instead sharing and pursuing ambition for us all. They must be willing to take things step by step, uniting behind one candidate and one candidate alone, so that the Conservatives can do all that is necessary to change the dynamic in Westminster to one which gives a workable majority and the ingredients necessary for the delivery of a Brexit that we will all ultimately be happy to own.

A drawn-out Leadership contest will not be good for the Country. It will do nothing to support the resolution of Brexit.

Above all, a drawn-out Leadership battle will delay the opportunity to change anything before the Autumn. Something likely to play very well in to May’s plan both for her stay in No.10 and making a Remain-based Brexit more likely. As more and more issues arising with the EU over the question of further delays will inevitably be involved.

No. If the present occupant of No.10 accepts that its time to go anytime soon, to resolve both the issues that the Country is facing and keep any chance of the Conservative Party alive, a new Leader must be ‘crowned’. A process that only in the circumstances of choosing the best candidate available, the Membership of the Party will accept as a necessary step to keep the Party from smashing into the ground.

The best thing that ALL of these ‘candidates’ can do as public representatives is consider the reality and impact of all that they are doing.

It is time to accept that winning and success are not simply about being top dog or holding the keys to No.10.

A successful outcome for all of us will be about the commitment that everyone brings to the table and the contribution that each and everyone entrusted with responsibility makes.

We have had decades of politicians getting the formula progressively wrong. It’s time for all of them to start thinking differently and that means considering the wider impact and consequences of every single decision they make and even the smallest things that they do.

Only one person can be Prime Minister and we are now entering a time when simply securing the role is only a preliminary step to the gargantuan task that a successful outcome will guarantee to be involved.

If these ‘leaders’ want to be seen to lead, the only thing they can do responsibly is unite behind one Brexiteer Candidate who can and is prepared to fight and win a General Election within 6 months.

Anything else will certainly be seen for all that it is by a Public now awakened to all that Politicians do. And the Conservative Party will not be forgiven if it replaces May with just another ambitious wannabe who when faced with the responsibility of acting selflessly and without fear on behalf of everybody, simply turns out to be another genuinely lost cause.

donkey image thanks to unknown

We need a new Parliament and we need it NOW. The problem is this shit show of a self serving party political system which means democracy won’t easily be recovered

January 10, 2019 Leave a comment

We are being fucked by our own Parliament. Right now. Today. And our MPs are so blinded by their own arrogance that they cannot see any other way.

Action taken by MPs in recent days seeking to dictate a form of Brexit that the People did not Vote for and now even the Speaker of the House of Commons breaking with Procedure to ensure outcomes which are aligned with his causes that are only his own tells us just how rotten this Parliament has now become.

The destiny of this Country is now in the hands of usurpers. Their only focus being what works for them and no more.

Democracy is actively in its death throws over Brexit right now and as we look at the mindless self-interest engulfing our Government, we can only ask if this behaviour of the people who are supposed to be leading us is a real reflection of what we as a Nation have now become.

We need to change and refresh our Parliament as quickly as it is possible to do so.

We must replace the self-interest and contempt for democracy which is being displayed in every way by the current incumbents. We need politicians who realise, accept and respect that what is best for this Country and the People they represent, is as Representatives of the People, their only worthwhile cause.

The problem is that change within the system as it currently exists is not what on is offer, even within what may now be an imminent General Election.

The difference in the mentality of the Politicians who would replace all of these Party stooges, even if they were to step down voluntarily, is simply not there to be had.

With the Party Political System and the Political Parties structured today in the way that they are, we, as a Country, have been set up to fail.

The Political Parties only knowingly recruit, endorse and support politicians who are in their own image.

If you need to see what the end result of this process is in action, take a brief look at Theresa May and every Member of her glory-at-any-cost Cabinet. It is clear to see why change is needed so desperately and how our whole system of democracy has become terminally flawed.

The deck is critically stacked against any new entrant to the list of electable political parties who will willingly pursue change. Of that much we can be absolutely sure.

Yet we now need a new Political Party more than ever.

A Party which isn’t just a Party, but a movement. A new way of working with Government and Politics. Something conscious of cause and effect, the age of consequence. A power base which is in touch, truly dynamic and ready to offer us all something which is a whole lot more.

There are few serving politicians even at Westminster who could genuinely switch or reconstitute an existing Party in order to develop the right mentality and approach at the very core.

The question is for us exactly where is the change therefore going to come from. Because without it, this Country is on the verge – that’s perhaps only weeks away – from being well and truly lost.

Fuel Duty and the OFT: Forcing us to pay more and more Tax on the essentials of daily life demonstrates just how far apart our Westminster politicians are from life outside and the reality of being British today

February 1, 2013 Leave a comment

This week’s announcement by the OFT that the UK petrol market is working well had fudge written all over it and was unsurprisingly met with disdain by motoring organisations across the Country. But just how much does the Government response tell us about the missed opportunities that they could have used to help us, rather than simply using a clever play on words which completely ignores the elephant in the room?

Fuel Duty is of course nothing new where inflammatory issues are concerned. Since the Fuel blockade in 2000, the presence of the Fuel Price Escalator has become only too well known for its wholly disproportionate use as a revenue raising device for successive Governments who have failed to address almost every issue concerning overspending at its root cause.

Use of Fuel Duty in this way has been counterproductive for many years. Whilst making already stretched household budgets even harder to manage for those who have little choice but to use a car to commute, its impact on the all-too-tightly-margined logistics industry reaches into almost every part of our daily lives through the cost of the delivery and supply chains of products that we buy and use each day.

Taxing a product which is effectively the lifeblood of the Country so heavily, just because it is easy to do so is not only morally wrong; it demonstrates just how far detached from reality and void of understanding our politicians have become to the issues facing the Electorate and how desperate we actually are for Government that sees 5 years as an opportunity to do something, rather than the time it takes to work at little more than getting re-elected.

The UK Taxation and Benefits system is far too complicated to understand in almost every place that our lives touch it, and it is little wonder that an entire industry exists to assists to help those who have money to avoid paying every penny that they legally don’t have to.

Worse still are the plethora of revenue-raising taxes which have been put in place on virtually every item that we buy apart from the very minimum of bare essentials. This travesty makes the inability of our leaders to tackle the root causes of the Nations financial difficulties all the more serious when market manipulation and unscrupulous profiteering by the City and its Funds comes ever closer to pushing more and more families into the state of extreme poverty, when none should even be there in 21st Century Great Britain.

In 2007 and as a new Councillor, I argued on the Conservative Home Website that the then Labour Government should consider giving the Logistics Industry the same concession as Agriculture and remove Duty from Fuel.

As just an interim measure, I have no doubt that the impact from such a move would even now have massively positive implications for businesses and the prices of goods. I myself have been in that very situation where a contract has been negotiated which allows haulage prices to be tied and raised directly in line with fuel costs and it is no easy task when those costs will be passed directly to the end user price of the goods carried. But duty-free fuel at an industry-specific level itself would not go anywhere near far enough and attempted in isolation – the method classically used by Governments as an excuse not to do something – it would simply create more deficit of the kind that as a Country we can already not afford to sustain.

Tackling the disenfranchisement caused by our system of Taxation is no mean feat. But the simplification and application of our Tax system in ways that basically make sense to us all, without being left having the inherent feeling that those who give will always be asked to keep giving more has now become essential.

In order to do this, Government will have no option but to adopt and embrace a new and holistic form of politics which uses balance and fairness across all policy areas as the benchmark. It could then more readily face difficult decisions today for a better tomorrow, implementing systems such as a Flat Tax, which at its worst would be relative to income and expenditure, and at its best would be universally fair, proportional and easy for us all to understand.

Cheap political capital is of course made off the back of what each and every one of us does or doesn’t earn and possess. But forcing us to pay more and more Tax on the essentials of daily life, whilst at the same time telling us that the system is fair, not only smacks of a Government treating the Electorate like fools; it demonstrates just how far apart our Westminster politicians are from life outside and the reality of being British today.

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